Women’s History Month Book List Inspiration for Our Young Ones, Our Youth & Ourselves


Taking Care of Ourselves and Our Loved Ones
There is no dearth of messaging to women on how to look better, be better, be more productive. Here’s a list of titles proposing the radical idea that we are enough, just as we are. Compiled by Ina Rimpau, Adult Librarian, Maplewood Memorial Library

How to do nothing: Resisting the attention economy
by Jenny Odell, 2019.
Author Odell sees our attention as the most precious–and overdrawn–resource we have. Once
we can start paying a new kind of attention, she writes, we can undertake bolder forms of
political action, reimagine humankind’s role in the environment, and arrive at more meaningful
understandings of happiness and progress. Far from the simple anti-technology screed, or the
back-to-nature meditation we read so often, How to do Nothing is an action plan for thinking
outside of capitalist narratives of efficiency and techno-determinism.

On freedom: Four songs of care and constraint
by Maggie Nelson, 2021.
Drawing on a vast range of material, from critical theory to pop culture to the intimacies and
plain exchanges of daily life, Maggie Nelson explores how we might think, experience, or talk
about freedom in ways responsive to the conditions of our day.

To my beloveds: Letters on faith, race, loss, and radical hope
by Jennifer Bailey (Reverend), 2021.
In this unique collection of love letters to her fellow activists and faith leaders, Jennifer Bailey
offers comfort, wisdom, encouragement, support, and hope for young activists and emerging
faith leaders aspiring to build a better world amidst its violence, trauma, and loss. Many may
wonder if they’re up to the task or unsure if they’ll ever see the change they seek. Bailey’s
poignant letters inspire us to imagine how our grief and despair can be composted into new life filled with courage, hope, and purpose for our shared future.

Already enough: Learning to live as your whole, full self
by Lisa Olivera, 2021.
This book is about getting honest about our stories and how they affect us – and they affect a lot more than we realize. It’s about doing the brave work of reframing our stories so we can choose to show up differently. And it’s about getting free by integrating all parts of who you are-the messy and the beautiful-to live a truer, more whole, and more meaningful life. May this book humanize your healing. May this book honor your process. May this book remind you that you are not alone. May this book help you recognize your capacity to reframe and rewrite, to heal, grow, and change, to transform

I didn’t do the thing today: letting go of productivity guilt
by Madeleine Dore, 2022.
I Didn’t Do the Thing Today is the inspiring call to take productivity off its pedestal–by
dismantling our comparison to others, aspirational routines, and the unrealistic notions of what
can be done in a day, we can finally embrace the joyful messiness and unpredictability of life.

Yinka, where is your huzband?
by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn, 2022.
Yinka is a 30-something, Oxford educated, British Nigerian woman with a well-paid job, good
friends, and a mother whose constant refrain is “Yinka, where is your huzband?” With shades of
Bridget Jones’ Diary and Jane Austen herself, Yinka, Where is Your Huzband? brilliantly
subverts the traditional romantic comedy with an unconventional heroine who bravely asks the
questions we all have about love. Wry, acerbic, moving, this is an #OwnVoices love story that
makes you smile but also makes you think–and explores what it means to find your way
between two cultures, both of which are yours

Songbirds: A novel
by Christy Lefteri, 2021.
Based on the real-life disappearance of domestic workers in Cyprus, Christy Lefteri has crafted
a poignant, deeply empathetic narrative of the human stories behind the headlines. With infinite tenderness and skill, Songbirds offers a triumphant story of the fight for truth and justice, and of women reclaiming their lost voices.

Should we stay or should we go: A novel
by Lionel Shriver, 2021.
To spare themselves and their loved ones a humiliating and protracted decline, Cyril and Kay
agree to commit suicide together once they’ve both turned eighty. When their deal is sealed, the spouses are blithely looking forward to another three decades together. But then they turn eighty. By turns hilarious and touching, playful and grave, Should We Stay or Should We Go portrays twelve parallel universes, each exploring a possible future for Kay and Cyril. Weaving in a host of contemporary issues, from Brexit and mass migration to the coronavirus, Shriver has pulled off a rollicking page-turner in which we never have to mourn perished characters, because they’ll be alive and kicking in the very next chapter.

Celebrate with stories about women in history.
Compiled by the Maplewood Library Children’s Librarians

Standing on Her Shoulders: A Celebration of Women
by Monica Clark-Robinson
A stunning love letter to the important women who shape us — from our own mothers and
grandmothers to the legends who paved the way for girls and women everywhere”– Provided
by publisher.

She Persisted in Sports: American Olympians Who Changed the Game
by Chelsea Clinton
Stories of American woman Olympians who persisted and succeeded against the odds.

Latinitas: Celebrating Big Dreamers in History!
by Juliet Menéndez
A celebration of Latinas and Latin American women who followed their dreams.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul
by Carole Boston Weatherford
This Queen was a multi-Grammy winner and the first female inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame. And there was even more to Aretha than being a singer, songwriter, and pianist: she
was an activist, too. Her song “Respect” was an anthem for people fighting for civil rights and
women’s rights.

Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice
by Mahogany L. Browne
Historically poets have been on the forefront of social movements. Woke is a collection of
poems by women that reflects the joy and passion in the fight for social justice, tackling topics
from discrimination to empathy, and acceptance to speaking out.

Strong women in history and on the page.
Compiled by Emily Witkowski, Teen Librarian Maplewood Library

By Yamile Saied Méndez
Growing up in Rosario, Argentina, Camila has had to live a double life: trying to fulfill traditional
gender roles and norms at home to appease her parents’ expectations and leave room for
attention on her brother, a rising-soccer star, and playing her own heart out on the soccer pitch as La Furia, a secret she keeps from her family. It can’t stay a secret much longer, however, when her team qualifies for a big tournament and she has the opportunity to see how far she can go with her talent. Will her parents stand in her way, will the boy she once loved who has returned home distract her, or will she make a life of her own, the way she sees it?

Changing the Equation: 50+ US Black women in STEM
By Tonya Bolden
Learn about the inspiring and important Black women who have changed the STEM field in
America. From computer scientists to aviators, pharmacists to mathematicians, this book
celebrates those who have shattered the glass ceiling, defied racial discrimination, and
pioneered in their fields.

Finish the Fight!: the Brave and Revolutionary Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote
By Veronica Chambers and the Staff of The New York Times
When thinking about the fight for the women’s right to vote, you can probably name the famous few, like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, but what about the many who have been forgotten? Many women, with many different backgrounds, were involved in the fight for suffrage, and in this book, learn about the many whose stories have not been as widely told.

Yes She Can: 10 Stories of Hope & Change from Young Female Staffers of the Obama White

compiled by Molly Dillon
These women were just teenagers when Obama first announced he was running for president,
and then proceeded to work in his White House. Hear their inspiring stories, told with wisdom,
humility, and humor, about how they literally helped run the country.

We Set the Dark on Fire
By Tehlor Kay Mejia
In a polarized society, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles: to run a husband’s household, or to raise his children. While neither sounds like much, it offers comfort and stability in a politically intense and divisive environment. Dani’s parents have fought for her to attend the prestigious Medio School for Girls, and as the best student in her class she’s
primed for either role, but in order to keep her spot, she has to lie about her background. And once she’s graduated, she’s faced with a difficult decision that would require her to give up everything for the pursuit of a free Medio–and a chance at a forbidden love. Will she do it?

Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World
By Pénélope Bagieu
Enjoy this illustrated exploration of feisty female role models, both names you know and names
you don’t! These profiles are sure to inspire future generations to create the world they want to
live in.